The City of Orangeburg and 58-year-old Clarence Gailyard have reached a $650,000 settlement in a case involving an alleged physical assault by a former Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer.
The settlement money will be paid through the city’s insurance carrier.
“Mr. Gailyard is pleased to put this very troubling incident behind him and looks forward to moving on with the rest of his life. We appreciate how quickly Orangeburg city leadership moved to make this right by Mr. Gailyard. I’ve handled numerous cases involving police violence previously and rarely have I seen a city swiftly accept responsibility and also work to ensure that this never happens to another person,” said Gailyard’s attorney, Rep. Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg.
Former officer David Lance Dukes, 38, is facing a charge of first-degree assault and battery.
A warrant accuses him of placing his boot on the back of Gailyard’s head/neck area and pushing him to the ground on July 26.
Orangeburg County EMS transported Gailyard to the hospital for treatment.
A few days afterward, ODPS terminated Dukes and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division charged him.
The July 26 incident was captured on multiple police body cameras and dashboard cameras.
On Wednesday morning, Bamberg and the city of Orangeburg announced they’d reached a settlement in the case.
“Our hope and expectations are that every interaction between the public and officers with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety will be professional and courteous,” Orangeburg City Administrator Sidney Evering said.
“We understand that these officers have a difficult job and put their lives on the line every day, and for this we are extremely grateful. The vast majority of our officers do their jobs with honor and ensure that the citizens they are entrusted to protect and serve are treated fairly and with respect,” Evering continued.
He continued, “However, when an officer falls short of these expectations and conducts themselves in ways unbecoming to their department and the city, that officer must and will be held accountable. That’s exactly what we’ve done in this instance.”
In addition to apologizing to Gailyard and agreeing to a monetary settlement, the city has taken steps to ensure ODPS “is moving in the right direction going forward,” the statement says.
“We named an interim police chief who will be tasked with reviewing the department’s use of force policies and procedures,” Evering said.
“We are establishing a Citizens’ Task Force whose role, in part, will be to provide oversight and guidance with regard to interactions between our residents and officers with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety. We will continue to learn from this situation and pledge to do our very best for those who live, work and travel through Orangeburg,” he added.
The charge against Dukes remains pending.
Contact the writer: email@example.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD